Omega: How would you describe a shamanic journey to someone who has never experienced one?
John: I think everyone has taken a shamanic journey, they just haven’t called it that. If you’ve daydreamed or dreamed, if you’ve gone into deep thinking about something, if you’ve read a book and felt deeply involved in it, in a way you were on a shamanic journey.
A shaman is a woman or a man who journeys to and calls up other worlds and uses the information and energy from that to affect change in this world. A prayer is a journey to another world. A meditation is a journey to another world. A daydream takes us to another world. Oftentimes, watching a movie or reading a book takes us to another world. We all grow up doing these things and then at some point we turn away and don’t give it much credit. In the shamanic world, we give it a lot of credit. We understand that’s where the power is.
When I was very sick and dying in the Amazon, the shaman took me on a journey where I saw that the food I was eating was not killing me, it was the mindset I had about the food that was killing me. It was a very powerful experience and it allowed me to open up to those kinds of experiences.
Omega: Can you suggest a simple shamanic journey someone could do on their own?
John: What I would suggest to someone who thinks they haven’t been on a shamanic journey or wants to try it on their own, is to just sit quietly someplace for a little while and ask yourself, "What is it that I most want in my life?" Just spend some time really seeing and feeling it. If you’re not very visual, just experience it or think about it. Then ask yourself, "What do I have to do to make it happen? What are the obstacles getting in my way? What are the blockages and how do I remove them?"
It’s very, very powerful in the shamanic tradition. It’s not esoteric or magic. It all depends on what you might call flights of fantasy or imagination. Think of the word "imagine." It comes from "i" and "magus," or "eye of the magician." What we can imagine, we can make happen.
© 2016 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies